Chapter

PROCEDURAL AND SUBSTANTIVE PRACTICAL RATIONALITY

Brad Hooker and Bart Streumer

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199752393 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195145399.003.0004
 PROCEDURAL AND SUBSTANTIVE PRACTICAL RATIONALITY

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Hooker and Streumer distinguish procedural and substantive practical rationality thus: according to proceduralism, an agent is open to rational criticism for lacking a desire only if she fails to have a desire that she can rationally reach from her beliefs and other desires, whereas according to substantivism, an agent is open to such criticism not only if her desires fail procedurally, but also if they fail substantively, where, for example, an agent who lacks the desire to take curative medicine might be substantively irrational in virtue of this lack, and yet be procedurally rational because she cannot rationally reach this desire from her beliefs and other desires. Hooker and Streumer discuss the proceduralist views of Hume, Brandt and Williams, before turning to substantivist arguments. They conclude by noting the advantages of following Scanlon in being a proceduralist about practical rationality but a substantivist about practical reasons.

Keywords: belief; criticism; desire; practical; procedural; reason; substantive

Chapter.  7535 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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